Reformed Perspective is a print publication published 6 times a year and is sent out to a readership of 7-10,000, the majority of which live in Canada, but with a sizable minority who live in Australia, the United States, and the rest of the world. These readers are almost all from a conservative Reformed background and include members of the Canadian Reformed, United Reformed, and Australian Free Reformed churches as well as many others. It is aimed at a broad age group encompassing the entire family. Reformed Perspective is also a website that posts 5+ articles a week, that can go out to just about anyone anywhere. Most online readers still come from some sort of Reformed background.
Our purpose is to provide a Reformed reflection on world events, whether those events are technological, economical, cultural, or some other ‘al. It is a broadly-based directive narrowed only by our target audience. Our cross-generation appeal prevents us from engaging in highly technical and theoretical arguments over church doctrine.
Check out the “Resources” tab in the main menu to read some of our best articles from years past.
Thoughts on writing
- Is it relevant, practical/Reformed? – Why should Reformed Perspective, and not some secular magazine, print your article? Why should Christians care about your topic, and what, perhaps, should they do about it?
- Avoid professional language or jargon – The reason you are writing is to explain your point to people that don’t already know what you do!
- Criticism requires tact – Be constructive when possible, and try to include solutions to any problems you point out.
- Avoid flowery language – An overuse of poetic imagery and additional unnecessary and completely useless adjective is not conducive to agreeable reading (wordiness is bad, and adjectives are often the root cause).
- Variety in vocabulary – Good writing often comes down to a creative use of metaphors and similes, and a good knowledge of synonyms.
- Show, don’t tell – Stories, anecdotes, and examples should be used to make your point.
- No KJV please – The NASB and English Standard Versions are preferred Bible translations.
- Grab the reader quickly – The first line or two are absolutely critical. Give readers a reason to start reading by laying out your main point or theme right away. Engage your readers immediately or you won’t engage them at all.
- Bullet points or numbered lists are great – They make it easier for your reader to follow and understand your points.
- Proofread, proofread, and proofread some more – Get someone else to proofread your work before you send it on to the editor. Other people can sometimes catch surprisingly obvious grammar and spelling errors. It also pays to get someone who might have a different point of view to look at your article so they can catch errors in your argument.
- Be original – Reformed Perspective publishes primarily original material, with the occasional exception. If an article warrants an exception explain why.
- Own your opinion – If you need to qualify it with a host of ifs, buts, maybes and “in my opinion”s then you need to do more research so you can offer readers something more certain.
- How is it biblical? – This is a repeat of the first point, but it is worth repeating. Anyone can have an opinion, but what we’re interested in doing is discerning from God’s Word how to act.
Please also see “How to make your editor actually like you” for more helpful tips.
Thoughts for younger writers
We appreciate contributions from writers of all ages, but many topics that Reformed Perspective covers do require an older author. That’s because articles can be thought of as a gift of time – a writer who has spend a lot of time thinking through an issue biblically then puts those thoughts on paper in as concise and compelling a way as he or she can. The article can be read in minutes, but the time invested in its creation is a matter of hours, and, for most topics, will even be a matter of years or decades. That’s what’s involved when we have a business man write about how sales is a noble calling – this was a topic that has been percolating in the back of his head for a very long time.
A younger writer is going to have fewer topics they can write on with this level of expertise simply because they haven’t lived as long. But fewer is very different from none. If a younger writers wants to help equip Reformed Perspective‘s readership, the first step is to identify areas of interest where you do know more because you’ve been thinking on the that topic long and hard. One example from an author in her twenties is this article on hospitality. While younger, she has been working through this for a few years, and so we as readers get to benefit from her years of thinking and doing, with all of that experience boiled down to a few minutes worth of reading.
So what are some topics that your parents, or grandparents might turn to you for advice? In what ways have you, or others you know, built on the “shoulders of giants” so that you can see further and know more than the previous generation? What temptations are particularly trying these days and what help can you offer? Have you thought through the best way to choose a career, or do you have ideas on how to get young people active and engaged in evangelism, or political actions, or helping their neighbors? What are some books every young person or anyone at all needs to read?
The key question then is, what expertise/wisdom/insight do you have that we can all benefit from?
Length: Our preferable article size is anywhere from 600-2000 words. Shorter and longer articles will be considered but we may not read contributions over 2500 words. Nota Bene items (for the news column at the beginning of the magazine) can be as short as 150 words, and as long as 600.
References/Endnotes: Try to include references within the body of the article. Endnotes should only be used if including the references within the text body becomes cumbersome. Please do not use your word processor’s auto-footnoting feature – that is formatting the editor will then have to undo. Instead just include endnotes manually, preferably noting it in the text this way: (1), (2), etc.
Identification: Include your name, address, church affiliation, and relevant expertise.
Pictures: They always help make your article more readable. Relevant information (such as names of people, location, permissions, etc.) should be included.
Reformed Perspective reserves the right to make editorial changes. We will edit on the basis of spelling, grammar, eloquence, length, factual accuracy, and style. We may request a rewrite or submission after considering it carefully.
If your original article is accepted Reformed Perspective will pay a small honorarium. For articles from 800-2000 words the honorarium ranges from $30 – $55. We also pay $10 for any original comics we publish.
Jon Dykstra – Editor